July, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Bukhakunga Community, Indiatsi Omukitsa Spring
Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.
Trainer Shigali reviews the prevention reminders chart
We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Bukhakunga, Kenya.
We trained more than 12 people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19. Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.
A boy shows his informational pamphlet on COVID-19 received at training
We covered essential hygiene lessons:
- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station
- Proper handwashing technique
- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing
- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.
We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:
- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19
- What social distancing is and how to practice it
- How to cough into an elbow
- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.
- How to make and properly wear a facemask.
Community member Becky demonstrates good handwashign technique
During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point, along with a sign with reminders of what we covered.
Homemade mask tutorial
Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.
Everyone practices the 10 steps of handwashing
"The community members were elated by the organization’s concern for them. Having field officers just dedicate time and energy to travel to their village in order to teach them how to prevent the spread of Coronavirus was humbling. They promised to wash their hands frequently, they also promised to make and wear face masks while in public. They also promised to maintain social distance in order to avoid spreading Coronavirus," recalled Trainer Shigali.
Community members pose with their COVID-19 informational pamphlets after training
We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.
Practicing the handwashing steps
Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.
October, 2017: Bukhakunga Community Project Complete
Indiatsi Omukitsa Spring in Bukhakunga Community, Kenya is now a protected, clean source of water thanks to your donation. The spring is protected from contamination, five sanitation platforms have been provided for the community, and training has been given in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the changes that all of these resources are going to bring for these residents! You made it happen! Now, want to do a bit more? Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this spring protection and many other projects.
We just updated the project page with the latest pictures, so make sure to check them out! And please enjoy the rest of the report from our partner in Kenya:
Project Result: New Knowledge
Hygiene and sanitation training was organized between our staff and the recently elected chairwoman of the water user committee. This committee was established to oversee the project from start to finish, and to manage and maintain the spring protection so that it can serve the community for years to come. Chairwoman Felestus also worked with community members to set the most convenient dates for training.
Training was held on the land of Mr. Indiatsi Omukitsa himself, since he lives closest to the spring. Attendance was good, with many women sacrificing time working on their farms or kitchen gardens to gather together and learn.
We were happy that a couple men even took the time to attend! Women have always been viewed as most responsible for hygiene and sanitation.
Training topics included but were not limited to leadership and governance; operation and maintenance of the spring; healthcare; family planning; immunizations; the spread of disease and prevention. We also covered water treatment methods, environmental hygiene, and hygiene promotion. The community should refrain from washing clothes, watering animals, farming with fertilizers, and open defecation in the vicinity.
The teaching participants using illustrations of good and bad hygiene practices.
The women particularly enjoyed the demonstration and practice on the 10 steps of hand-washing. We also taught them how to make their own tippy-taps (hand-washing stations) to place outside of their latrines.
After this hand-washing session, we noticed a quick response with women installing stations in all of their homes. They were also quick to have their husbands build new dish racks and suspend clotheslines.
Project Result: Sanitation Platforms
All five sanitation platforms have been installed and are ready for use. These five families are happy about this milestone and are optimistic that there will be much less open defecation. People without proper latrines would often use the privacy of bushes, but now have a private place of their own. It is expected that proper use of latrine facilities provided by the sanitation platforms will go a long way in reducing environmental pollution here. We are continuing to encourage families to finish building walls and roofs over their new latrine floors.
The artisan casting a sanitation platform.
Project Result: Spring Protection
Community members provided all locally available construction materials, e.g bricks, wheelbarrows of clean sand, wheelbarrows of ballast, fencing poles and hard core (crushed rock and gravel). This was one of the most challenging parts of this spring protection, since the roads to the community are very poor. The community had hired a truck to deliver sand, but it couldn't get through the muddy roads for a couple of days. Accommodation and food for the artisan were provided, and a few people even volunteered their time and strength to help the artisan with manual labor.
A local man wheeling sand to the construction site.
The spring area was excavated to create space for setting the foundation of polythene, wire mesh and concrete. After the base had been set, both wing walls and the head wall were set in place using brickwork. The discharge pipe was fixed low in place through the head wall to direct the water from the reservoir to the drawing area.
The artisan building the foundation of the spring protection catchment area.
As the wing walls and head wall were curing, the stairs were set and the tiles were fixed directly below the discharge pipe. This reduces the erosive force of the falling water and beautifies the spring. The process of plastering the head wall and wing walls on both sides reinforces the brickwork and prevents water from the reservoir from seeping through the walls and allows pressure to build in the collection box to push water up through the discharge pipe. Lastly, the base of the spring was plastered and the collection box was cleaned. The source area was filled up with clean hardcore and covered with a polythene membrane to eliminate any potential sources of contamination. Finally, grass was planted and cutoff drains dug to direct surface water away from the spring box.
This process has transformed Indiatsi Omukitsa Spring into a clean water source. People gathered to celebrate this transformation and fetch their first buckets of clean water. Mrs. Beatrice Muhati said, "Since our spring is now protected, our health will now improve because we are drinking clean and safe water!" Mr. Peter Muserah was there too, and he might be motivated enough to help his wife fetch the clean water they need. He was impressed with the ease of access to such great quality water. He said, "I never imagined that one day, we as a community can access clean and safe drinking water!"